Tuesday Thoughts

We often reflect on life when we experience tragedy. Sometimes it’s when we attend funeral. We promise ourselves to live every day to the fullest. Though, human nature, we forget and gravitate back to negativity. Individuals who spend all day venting what’s wrong with their lives or someone else’s. Yes, reality isn’t all bright and colorful. We go through days where it’s impossible to maintain that happiness and positive outlook. Yesterday, I watched Yvonne Dowlen’s story on YouTube. “I guess some people can direct their lives, but I kind of just let mine happen,”



Jul 5, 1925 – May 2, 2016


I always remember her at skating competitions, she maintained a low profile. She loved figure skating. Yvonne kept her life simple, she did what she loved.

I’m sure, we all have spent precious time with our elders. They offer us wisdom. Some tend to say, well they lived through a different era. What we went through and are experiencing emotionally, they’ve been there. We can always gather perspective to reflect on the present and the future. I hope this post make you smile and be inspired. Don’t be easy to react on negativity. Let them. Look out after yourself first. Your mental health and well being. As much as it’s tempting to put them in their place, spend it on laughter & kindness.



Photography 📸


Ever since I was 8 yrs old, I’ve fallen in love with the Art of taking photos. I took pride capturing moments. Oh the days of buying film & carefully placing it inside the camera. Keeping an eye on that meter, being picky with what I capture. Click * then adjust to the next film with my thumb. That sound and feeling when there’s no more film. The waiting game of getting your pictures developed. Then that moment comes when you get that envelope, you tear open that sticky paper, reliving the pictures and moments in order it was taken. Carefully not smudging it with your fingerprint. Cringing at photos I shouldn’t have captured. After seeing the last glossy picture, “Eh…. Next time” I then arrange it to my photo album book. I’ve always felt 50/50 with what I created. Fast forward to 2005 when I got my Sanyo flip phone, it had a built in camera. It was a great feeling, having a camera and phone all in one. I then would own a Palm, Blackberry, iPhone, then finally my trusty Samsung Android device. I’ve gone through all the Galaxy Notes, now my s8. I’ve also used Cannon, as I needed for zooming. These past couple of years I have volunteered at festivals & parade, to test myself. I bought a professional Cannon & shot on Auto. It was a great learning experience. Rookie me – taking over 5K photos for my first event, the Cherry Blossom Festival & Parade in DC. After selecting & editing, I produced 300 memorable photos. I then continued to document several more. DC Memorial Day Parade & Pride. I learned a lot & value the experience. But I decided not to pursue it as my livelihood. I’ll just keep it as a hobby. There are thousands of photographers today capturing moments with high caliber cameras, taking helicopter rides, using drones, & venturing untouched places. Me, I’m happiest with my #mobilephotography excursions.

Thanks for reading 📱❤️📸


2018 – Staying Fit


Staying motivated is a struggle for many. I often make a deal to myself, “Just go, get on that elliptical & treadmill for 5 minutes, and if I really am not feeling it, then leave.” I end up continuing my routine.

At this point in my life, I need to be consistent on staying fit. Not to parade around shirtless, but to reduce my need using the inhaler. I’ve never had asthma growing up. It just sprung out of nowhere during my 30’s. Doctors diagnosed me with, “exercise induced asthma” 😑 I hate it. Currently I’m 170 pounds. When I get down to my normal weight, 140 lbs, I’m ok. I use my inhaler less. It’s really hellish being overweight. Whenever I tie my shoe laces, my chest begins to feel heavy, and I get shortness of breath.. Odd & Scary.

I got hit by this damn flu 🤧🤒 after the New Year, now I’m 98% better. I’m looking forward to starting my regimen this weekend. 


Figure Skating ⛸


Then 1994 – Now 2018
Every Friday night, Saturday morning & night, Sunday afternoon – were my skating days. Spending 3.5 to 4.5 hours a day. I would always use #music to motivate me. Improvising to so many genres of music, while warming up & practicing my jumps and spins. It hasn’t changed today. Except it’s only 1.0 – 1.5 hrs on ice. By now, everything is muscle memory. Before, I was learning to be consistent with each technique. Training my body & brain for all scenarios were essential. From feeling tired, sick, nervous & hyper. When that moment comes, to compete and perform, then your body goes completely numb, especially the knees, you dig deep & trust your training. Yes, I went through many seasons falling on a different element or sometimes the same. Skaters often “put out” new elements on exhibitions and competitions to get your body and brain acquainted. Almost all go through those seemingly painful falls. Then one season, everything clicks. Consistency & Confidence kicks in = “Clean skate” – Looking effortless come into play. I look forward to returning on competition ice this March & April. To feel in one with the music and getting lost in the feeling again, I am excited. Being a Dancer on stage is different, the ice gives me a huge canvas to express choreography boldy. The crunch and hiss the blades make on the ice, just takes me into a Zen 🎋


Live Life with No Edits & No Filters

We scroll through countless of photos during the day for different reasons, looking for inspiration & entertainment. Unfortunately sometimes it would turn into an obsession. Social Media Envy. It’s a daily struggle one finds itself. My hope for writing this today is to reach individuals who are struggling with it. Because it turns into anxiety and depression. Yes, I would find myself taking multiple pictures, making sure it covers my flaws. Stomach Belly Fat mostly. Facial scars can be smoothed out with an app. But I have to make sure the pose is what I’ve rehearsed in the mirror. Making sure it’s a flattering. Ugh 😣 We only have one life to live, I don’t want to waste time worrying & obsessing about stupid superficiality. This is my #2018 #instagram #NewYearsResolution.

So I don’t have 1K Likes . That doesn’t take away the picture & moment I share. So I don’t have 10K to a Million followers. I know that the people are following me enjoy my content on a daily basis. While my feed doesn’t fall in the category of a theme, like how everyone suggests (and most likely will never be), in my heart, what I have captured and posted, meant a lot to me. 

My current change of ways I credit to discovering @garyvee on instagram. Gary’s posts don’t beat around the bush. It’s what this era needs. #TagTeam2018


Part 3 “Migrating to America” 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BdVCHN5Bnlg/ via instagram


Part 3a⚡(3b 3c 3d on comments ⤵️)⚡ 

This was the first time stepping inside the plane. The new smell hit my nostrils, as the air were blowing from the overhead seats. We found our seats. My father seated in front of us, my mom and I together. It was a 2 4 2 configuration. As a child, I suffered from car motion sickness. My father, who always press the breaks without gradually easing into the stop. So I’ve always laid down during car rides. The pickup truck was spacious in the back, I’d spread a blanket & laid down.

When the plane started to back up, instead of feeling excited, my head started to feel iffy. Noooooo!

I’ve been waiting for this, now it’s about to get ruined. The air was turning on and off, alternating with the engines. We accelerated & flew up, my back pressed onto the seat and head back. It was a steep climb. I closed my eyes and kept swallowing saliva. It was on overdrive, producing so much than usual. An indication that I was about to throw up. I fought it. My mom on the other hand, “Timmy, look! We’re so high up. I think I can spot the Quezon Memorial.”

I squinted & peeked for a quick second, as I was too distracted with being so dizzy. After reaching altitude the plane moved steadily. Pretty Korean stewardess came out with their cart, offering water, juice, and coffee.

Me, I wanted the ride to be over. My mom took out her rosary, and prayed by herself. The stewardess saw my discomfort. She came back with two white tablets. With my mom’s approval, I took it. I sheepishly thanked her as I heavily pressed my head on the side of the wall & chair. They came back around and my mom selected an omelet sausage breakfast meal for me. I ate only half. I went to the bathroom afterwards and thought I was going to throw up. I didn’t. I saw several seats were empty. Especially the four seaters. I laid down and slept. I woke abruptly as the plane was having turbulence. I realized I had a blanket draped over me. The stewardess. I thought. I smiled. I closed my eyes and tried to doze off again, but my mom told me to go back to our seats, we were about to descend.

I went on another round of discomfort. Thankfully it was quick.

We hit the ground in a thud & the wind blasted against the wings.

3b⚡Seoul, Korea 🇰🇷
I was so relieved we were off the plane. I took my father’s camera and started taking pictures. We headed to some coffee shop where my parents found other Filipinos and started chatting with them. As always, I never stayed at one place. I always roamed & explored. There were many pictures of Ginseng Root. I stopped a stranger to have my picture taken with one giant ginseng. After 10 minutes, I went back to my parents, they were still chatting and laughing. I took my mom’s cup of mocha and down it. Moments later, she lifted the cup, “O, sakin ba ito?” She saw I was back and I flashed her a grin. Timmy finished it, of course.

It was time to head to our new gate. They said their farewell to the other couple, and wished them luck.

We boarded, and the plane looks bigger. It was a 3 4 3 configuration. This time we were almost to the back and on the 4 seater. I sighed. This was going to be the long haul.

I noticed the stewardess race were different. They weren’t Korean. It was a mix of Caucasian & African American ladies. Shortly after take off, which oddly I didn’t feel nauseous, probably because it was a larger jet? We were served late lunch. I had Beef with the mash potatoes, with bread, and couple pieces of fruit. “Where’s the rice?” I asked my mom.

“You’ll have to get used to not having rice with every meal. In America, they don’t have rice with everything.”

Great. After eating, I pulled out my Walkman, well its actually my father’s tape recorder. I took ownership of it eventually. I listened to a mix of music and Palibhasa Lalake episodes. With commercials! I pulled back down my tray table and slept. It was a full flight. So my hope for another lie flat sleep were dashed.


It felt like eternity. Sleeping was next to impossible. Exhaustion. Restlessness. I decided to take out my drawing pad and doodle. I started sketching the stewardess on board. They were such sweet ladies. As a thank you, I decided to give them my drawing. The plane started its descent & the turbulence was a lot. I of course started to get dizzy. I pull back down the tray table, folded my arms and pressed my head down. I was doing some deep breathing to prevent me from yacking. I felt a tap on my arms. I looked up and saw one of the stewardess. She laid out this 11 by 17 map on my table. It was the flight route from Seoul to Detroit. There was a pen mark that drew across the path the plane took, and a yellow highlight over the ink. As a thank you from the crew, I was give the pilot’s map. I was half elated and still half nauseous. I sheepishly thanked her and laid my head back down. 


Migrating to America 🇺🇸 part 2


“Migrating to America”   Part 2   

October 18, 1992

Around 4:05 am, my mom woke me up.
“It’s time to get dressed.”
I didn’t pop up from bed energetically as I thought I would. I laid out my travel outfit two weeks ahead of time. A blue long sleeve, light brown curderoys, my favorite brown shoes, and a red light jacket.
A small handbag filled with 10 cassette tapes, a large walkman, and a mini photo album.
Believe it or not, I actually have all these items together in one of 5 boxes of my personal memorabilia.

10 cassette tapes of music? Nah.
At that time, I thought it would be cool to record my TV shows on tape. We actually did not own a beta max set. The only beta tape I own was my 10th Birthday party at #Jollibee.
Among the cassettes were memoir recordings. A month’s worth of personal narration of my daily Shenanigans. I’ve always been known to keep documentation all my life. Pictures and written diaries weren’t enough.
I had late night talks with my grandmother. She lived here in America for a couple of years.
Summer of 1988, she came with my cousin Charisma. My Uncle & Aunt lived in Fords New Jersey. My mom escorted them during the trip.
I peppered my grandmother with inane questions, what was America like. Was it like anything we’ve seen on television and the movies?
Growing up, we only had 7 channels. On that wooden box with a thick glass screen, two knobs, one to pull & push, turning it on and off, which also served for volume, and the flat key like thing, that clicks loudly as you rotate it to change the channel.
Sesame Street and Wonder Woman were the only American shows I’ve ever watched growing up.

Ok, ok. Let me get back to October 18th….. My Uncle (from Confirmation) and long time friend of the family came to drive us to the airport. I gave my Aunt, My mom’s cousin Jojit, and my Grandmother a hug good bye.
We pack in seated in our burgundy pick-up truck. A vehicle that was older than I was. One big foam rectangular cushion that fit 3 people. Today, all 4 of us squeezed in.    As we backed out of the house slowly, that wee early morning, all three of my relatives were in front of the house waving, I stare at the house one last time, the gate wide open, I can see all lights were on, my Uncle beeped the horn twice and we waved one last time.
Bye, 12 Sicaba Street, Retiro – Santa Mesa Heights, Quezon City.
My mom reached into her purse and took out her rosary. I thought, oh wow. She’s really nervous.
“First Joyful mystery, The Annunciation…” From there I mumbled on auto-pilot.
I peer out of the window to memorize one last time the roads. Turned left towards Retiro – Right on Banawe Street, & Left on Quezon Avenue. There were no traffic at 4:35 am. We breezed through up to the Quezon Memorial Circle within 10 minutes. A ride that usually take 25 minutes. Everything came fuzzy after that.
We finished praying the rosary & sat in silence. I looked at the rear view mirror and saw our cross hanging on a string, I took it off and tucked it away in my carry-on bag. It was a gift that was given to us by Charito Planas.
The cross is now in my parent’s car.
Before I know it, the sun was rising as we pulled in the rotunda of Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Upper level.
It was the first time I’ve been to the upper level. All my life during that time I’ve been at the Lower level for arrivals. I’ve watched with excitement as my relatives come down from the ramp (Google it, Ninoy Aquino Airport – Terminal 1 Arrival, Greeters Area). “Wow, they just came from America.” They always looked so refreshed & glowing. Plus, Filipinos know this one fact. They smell different. Umm what smell? It’s a sweet aroma. Their clothes and the Balikbayan Box, all smell the same.
The sun was already up, it’s golden colors were shining behind us, the coconut trees were rustling from the wind, and the Philippine flag on the pole. “Timmy, get a cart.” My father told me.
We had 6 pieces of luggage & 5 Boxes. My dad was a memorabilia collector too. Almost all of his books and art supplies, he packed.
I got two carts. We stacked all of our belongings to those two flimsy carts, said our thanks to my God Uncle, I looked at our pick-up truck one last time and headed in the airport lobby. I was so giddy inside. The marble green floor was newly polished that morning, it smelled of Johnson or Star Wax. I remember using them in school to clean our classroom floor.
Um, excuse me? Kids were asked to clean school property? It was part of our routine in school. After recess, we would sweep the floors and wax the floor with half of a coconut, what we call “bunot”. This was the time I stared to feel sleepy and tired. I slept on my mom’s lap while we waited at the gate.
Shortly. We started to board.